So if you love makeup as much as yours truly, you probably got some Sephora gift cards this year for the holidays. Or perhaps you just want to spend your cash on makeup and need help deciding what to buy. I'm there with ya man. I have 4 Sephora gift cards and there are only a few things that come to mind that I may want to get.
I will probably save the majority of mine for Spring launches that will be released shortly but there are some things that have caught my eye already. Also after the holidays is a great time to get left over holiday sets on sale at Sephora, their sale section grows quite a bit actually after Christmas is over, especially from Tarte and assorted skin care lines. This year was no different.
So that's where we're gonna start is the sale section. Getting a good deal and the best bang for your buck is always awesome.
The only annoying thing is when you see something in the "Sale" section and get excited and then you click on it it's no longer in stock. Happens to me all the time. So I've went through and found the things that are actually in stock as of right now and selected some good options I believe.
Kevyn Aucoin: The Contour Book The Art of Sculpting + Defining. $40. I have this and I really really like it. It's made for your entire face not just your cheek bones, which is why I love it. It's useful in every way and has a very popular shade of highlight (Candlelight) along with some really great brow powders. It has diagrams and tips in the front to show you where you can highlight and sculpt. Also, I would use these shades as eye shadows as well. If you were lucky enough to catch this while the "20% off sale section" promo was going (ends January 1st) then you would get an extra 20% off $40. Making it around $32. For Kevyn Aucoin that is really good. His products are definitely high end but they don't disappoint either. They are consistent with their formula and have a very good name. The only thing that is kinda surprising, I guess you could say, is that this looks like it's a big book online but when you get it it's actually very small. About the size of a Tartelette palette. So that could be a downfall if you were paying the original $59 for this, but seeing as you could potentially get it for about half that, it's not worth complaining about.
Smashbox Art. Love. Color. Master Class. $45. This is a very colorful palette. It contains 32 shadows, 2 highlighters, and 6 blushes along with instructional cards. It''s got basically all the colors of the rainbow in it with mainly satin and shimmer finishes, I see a few mattes. The packaging for this alone is beautiful. It's regularly $65 and just went on sale a few days ago. I have the #shapematters palette from Smashbox and really like it and it's a large palette similar to this. When you have large palettes it's often hard for the formula to stay consistent through out the palette. You usually have some duds is what I'm trying to say. That's not the case so far with Smashbox from what I've seen and used. This has a 4 star rating and I find it very appealing, but I do love color. The cheek colors, both highlighters and blushes, are very nice with a good selection of neutrals and brights. The shadows are obviously very colorful. If you like your palettes to contain brown shades then you won't like this, the closest this gets to "neutral" is greys and plums. It's not a "comfort zone" palette in my eyes but I think along with the blushes and highlighters this is a steal. Plus it does come with instructional cards if you like those.
Urban Decay Wende's Contraband Palette. $24. This is a 6 shade palette with a 24/7 black eye liner pencil. It's a pretty good neutral-ish palette with a pop of teal and a bright purple to mix things up. Urban Decay always does palettes very well. I would be 100% comfortable in telling you that the formula of this is probably top notch. This was created to be a "travel friendly" palette so it doesn't have a lot of bells and whistles but you can create quite a few different looks with the 6 shades you've been given and I really like that. It's mainly satins and shimmers with a bit of glitter thrown in. It has one of my favorite UD shades, which is Smog. Plus you get a full size 24/7 eyeliner which works really well on the water line, for me at least. It's originally it's $34, which still isn't bad but now it's $24 and like we've already said if you get it by the 1st you can take another 20% off that.
Some honorable mentions are: Tarte Poppy Picnic eye and cheek palette, $26. St Tropez Tanning Essentials Express Party Kit, $21.60. Peter Thomas Roth Gentle Foaming Cleanser, $13. Formula X Bottle Service Set, $22 (nail polishes), and Make Up Forever Artist Plexi Gloss Kit, $29.
***last I checked all these were still in stock.
Moving on to things that aren't on sale, I'll start with some things that are more of a "treat yo self" type products and then to more necessary things briefly.
Right out the gate I would tell you to check out the Make Up For Ever 15 Artist Shadow Palette, $59. It's got a nice range of 15 eye shadows from neutrals to bright colors. Their shadows are "gel-powder formula" which basically means they are so soft they feel almost like a cream. They're highly pigmented and the layout of the palette is basically to be used as "5 trios". Each row, top to bottom, being a trio. Of course I would put colors together however I wanted, but there is a step by step guide included. This palette is quite large too so I think that $59 is a fair price and MUFE always comes through when it comes to formula and pigmentation.
Next another cool palette is the Too Faced Love Flush Blush Wardrobe, $36. It has "6 high impact shades that last for 16 hours". I haven't personally tried these but they have very good reviews and the shade range is awesome from neutral to bright to dark blushes and I really love seeing that.
Another thing that you might would be interested in would be the Viseart eye shadow palettes. These bad boys are $80 so they are definitely not cheap. You get 12 shades and there are several palettes out. I recommend getting one that you know for certain you would use. Like if I were to get one, I would get the warm neutral one because it would be great for travel and just a "go to" palette that you don't have to think about. The packaging is nothing special but that's because this company is mainly used for day to day set life in French television and film by professional makeup artists. So this is definitely a "pro palette". They have 6 different palettes to choose from in eye shadows.
Some quick mentions of nice things to get yourself that you might not would buy if you didn't have extra cash or a gift card would be: YSL Lipstick (especially Beige Tribute) in Satin Radiance (square packaging) and the Silky Sensual Radiance (round packaging), $36 each. The satin line I feel is a bit more opaque than the silky line which I feel is very shiny and glossy. They smell amazing, btw. Tatcha Luminous Dewy Skin Mist (used by Kim Kardashian), $48. Do not buy it if you are super oily is my advice. Dior and Marc Jacobs lip glosses (especially the Dior Lip Maximizer plumping gloss) both are around $30.
Now lets talk about some "go to" products that are definitely worth your money.
A great foundation. I really love Nars Sheer Glow foundation, as well as the Make Up For Ever Ultra HD foundations (I actually prefer the stick form over the liquid, but the liquid is good) I don't mind paying the money for foundation if it's great. For me to consider it great it needs to: be the correct shade and not oxidize as the day goes on, be less inclined to break up on me through the day or wear off very easy, and have a more natural finish meaning I don't want it super dewy, cakey, or matte. I want it to look like my skin but better. I tend to lean toward more full coverage foundation because full coverage can be thinned out on the skin and thus you don't use as much product. Light and medium coverage may require a couple or several layers and therefore take more product, which makes the foundation run out quicker.
Next is a great concealer. I recommend the Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Concealer especially for under the eye. I also hear great things about the MUFE Ultra HD concealer that just launched (which is what I'm buying today). Also if you have dark circles it's worth looking into a good corrector but I will say that I love my NYX corrector just as much as my more expensive correctors.
A go to blush and highlighter. I love Becca blushes and highlighters. Especially the shades Songbird and Wild Honey for blush and Moonstone and Champagne Pop of course for highlights. Another highlighter I feel everyone would love is the Laura Mercier Matte Radiance Baked Highlight in 01. I don't know why "matte" is even in the name because this isn't flat at all. It's a subtle yet noticeable sheen that literally looks good on everyone. Also Thunderstruck Metal Crush eye shadow from Kat Von D is a beautiful highlight as well as an eye shadow.
Another necessary thing to have is a good contour palette. Hands down I choose Kat Von D Shade + Light Contour Palette.
Also don't forget your brows. Even if you aren't comfortable with "sculpting" a brow or whatever, bottom line brows frame the face and they need to at least be controlled or lightly defined. You can't go wrong with Anastasia Beverly Hills brow products (she is the Queen of Brows people) like the Brow Wiz and Clear Brow Gel. I also think that Benefit Gimme Brow tinted brow gel with fibers, is something everyone needs. Especially if you aren't sure have to go about filling in your brows it does most of the work for you.
Some quick mentions of things that are great to have are: Purity Made Simple Cleanser from Philosophy. If you're oily you may need a good setting spray like Urban Decay De Slick or All Nighter sprays. If you're super dry then maybe a more luminous one especially if you have dry patches that are noticeable. Another thing you may want to consider is a nice moisturizer preferably a day time and then a night time. I love the Origins Ginzing moisturizer and Night-a-mins moisturizer. They usually have some good sets too. A "go to" lipstick in whatever formula you prefer whether that's actual lipstick or liquid lipstick is also good to have. Kat Von D liquid lipsticks are top of the line as well as her Studded Kiss lipsticks. So are the Urban Decay Revolution lipsticks that come in matte formulas as well as regular formula.
So there ya have it. That's my shopping advice. I hope it has helped in some way and have fun shopping for new goodies.
I'm from Tennessee. I'm a makeup and skincare lover. I have always enjoyed creating looks but I love to help people with product knowledge and application even more. I've been able to do these things because God has seen fit to bless me with the opportunity.